Introducing Issue 88 Cover Star, Cary Elwes

Corleone — or Al Pacino, to give him his other name — wouldn’t dare accuse Cary Elwes of a lack of focus these days. Then again, who would? The workaholic English actor talks fate, fortune and cult films with Tom Chamberlin.
  • fashion director Alison Edmond

  • by Tom Chamberlin

  • photography Kurt Iswarienko

Cary wears Camel herringbone wool blazer, cotton shirt and tartan wool tie, all Ralph Lauren Purple Label.

To set this scene well, we must go back almost 50 years, to 1975, and the opening of a hairdressing salon. shows. It became my passion, and because I had so much fun studying it, I realised I had found my calling very early on.” Like many in the U.K. who acquire some formal acting education, the grounding, emphasis and focus for Cary was on the theatre. It is not dissimilar to the way in which new military recruits learn the ancient elements of soldiering — infantry — before discovering further skill sets. Or perhaps reciting amo, amas, amat before Ich liebe, tu aimes, lui ama. “I am of that era when I studied all the theatrical greats, like Olivier, Gielgud... The salon, on London’s Pont Street, was called Figurehead. This was the heyday of the London hairdressing scene, with Ricci Burns, Vidal Sassoon, Gavin Hodge and George Britnell all somehow imbued with rockstar personas, which attracted the attention of the periodicals. Britnell had created Figurehead with the artist Dominick Elwes, who, for the opening- night party, told the P.R. guru he’d hired that the salon should be full-to-bursting, so that people would spill onto the streets and catch the curious looks of commuters returning home from work. The P.R. guru — Betty Brittain was her name — invited essential journalists, including the then assistant beauty editor at Vogue, Susan Fahey, as well as a number of filler guests to get the numbers up, one of whom was a dashing, debonair former cavalry officer called Nick Chamberlin (see where I’m going with this yet?). Susan and Nick met for the first time at the party, chatted, and went for dinner afterwards. Cut to 1987, and yours truly comes along. Now cut to 2023: I log into a Zoom call with our cover star, Cary Elwes, the son of Dominick, in an encounter that would not have been possible had his father not opened that salon several decades earlier. Excellent coincidences in the Elwes story do not end there: our conversation included tales of chance encounters with Al Pacino as well as Cary’s being cast in the role of his grandfather’s boss in a soon-to-be-released Guy Ritchie movie (more of which later).


June 2023


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